Over at AtlasShrugs I discuss the Kansas Senate’s recent anti-Sharia vote:
The Kansas Senate just passed legislation restricting the use of foreign law in state courtrooms, and many other states are considering similar laws. These laws are designed to halt the use of Islamic law, Sharia, by American judges — a measure that many see as necessary, since Sharia has already been involved in cases in twenty-three states. Yet many such initiatives have already been stopped by activist judges who see them as encroachments upon First Amendment protection of religion; however, anti-Sharia laws do not actually infringe upon religious freedom at all, and become more urgently needed by the day.
The Associated Press summed up the prevailing mainstream media view when it recently noted that critics of anti-Sharia laws view the movement to pass them as an “unwarranted campaign driven by fear of Muslims.” In criticizing an anti-Sharia amendment to the Oklahoma state constitution that gained seventy percent of the vote in a state referendum but was later struck down, Daniel Mach, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief, said: “This amendment did nothing more than target one faith for official condemnation. Even the state admits that there has never been any problem with Oklahoma courts wrongly applying religious law. The so-called “˜Save Our State Amendment” was a solution in search of a problem, and a blatantly discriminatory solution at that.” Ryan Kiesel of the ACLU”s Oklahoma branch declared: “No one in Oklahoma deserves to be treated like a second-class citizen. This proposed amendment was an affront to the Constitution and everything it stands for.” The Muslim writer Reza Aslan hysterically and inaccurately charged that “two-thirds of Americans don’t think Muslims should have the same rights or civil liberties as non-Muslims.”
In reality, the properly formulated anti-Sharia laws neither infringe upon Muslims” civil liberties or religious freedom nor address a non-existent problem. Recently in a critique of anti-Sharia initiatives published in First Things, law professor Robert K. Vischer articulated some reasons why Americans are concerned about Sharia: “Proponents of this legislation tend to focus on manifestations of Sharia overseas: the stoning of adulterers, cutting off of the hands of thieves, and the denial of basic freedoms for women in some Islamic countries,” and that “there are many schools of interpretation among Islamic legal scholars, and some interpretations stand in tension with the rights that we have come to take for granted in liberal democracies, including the rights of women, homosexual persons, religious minorities, and religious converts.”…